Time outdoors is a vital part of life for all people, of all ages, everywhere. I'm passionate about getting kids to be outdoors and encounter nature, and about ensuring that there will always be a wild outdoors for the children of the future. This blog will be about our experiences camping as a family, the growing movement to get kids outdoors, finding nature in the city (there's a lot more than you might think!), and taking action to protect the earth. I hope you enjoy it and find it useful.

Belleplain State Forest & Corson's Inlet State Park

We'd talked about going camping, perhaps even winter tent camping, over the holiday break, but I didn't manage to get around to pinning down a place to go until Friday the 28th. I had some doubts about the winter preparedness of Top Kid, his sleeping bag filling has gotten flat with repeated washings and the thermal underwear fit situation was dubious. NY State parks don't have tent camping year-round, so our choice was hike-in in DEC areas in the Catskills or look elsewhere. We didn't want an expensive or fancy cabin, we wanted rustic if not tent.

A Little Campy: Top 5 Non-Essential Camping Essentials for Kids

There's a useful post over at the blog "A Little Campy," on things that aren't "essential" in terms of camping gear, but that are almost essential for camping with kids. Top 5 Non-Essential Camping Essentials For Kids. Every one of these items is a must-have in my experience, except perhaps the checkers or playing cards.

Another "Best of" List: Top 10 Apps for Taking Technology Outdoors

It's that best-of roundup time of year, all right. Here's another one that's interesting. The Top 10 Apps for Taking Technology Outdoors list comes from National Environmental Education Week, but I couldn't actually find it on their site (I got it in their email newsletter), so I'm linking it via Mother Earth News.

You Never Know What Will Come in Handy

We happen to live near the highest point in Brooklyn and were virtually untouched by Hurricane Sandy. A couple of trees came down nearby, and of course no school all week. Top Kid and Tree Kid's grandparents weren't so lucky and are without power indefinitely out on Long Island. We gave them our propane stove and a couple of battery-powered lanterns to help tide them over. Of course we have them as camping equipment, not as survivalist gear, but it's always nice to be prepared.